The World Health Organization says that over two million babies are stillborn each year, which has a big impact on parents and society. While there have been improvements in reducing baby deaths after birth, reducing stillbirths has been slower.
If emerging problems during pregnancy are recognized early and safe delivery is done on time, stillbirths could be reduced by half. But because we don't have good ways to check how the baby is developing before birth, we can't always predict the risk of stillbirth. New technology can help us assess the baby's behaviour in the womb, which could help reduce stillbirths. By accurately predicting how the baby is growing in the womb, we could also avoid unnecessary interventions in healthy pregnancies that could harm the baby.
Trac FM is partnering with the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda and the iTECH program to raise awareness and gather public opinion data on stillbirth in Uganda. The project will engage various communities through interactive radio polls and live talk shows, discussing topics such as the use of ultrasound and the importance of early antenatal care. The goal is to gather data on possible uptake, reservations, and preconceptions related to stillbirth, as well as to address cultural taboos and the use of traditional midwives instead of medical facilities.
The debates will be hosted on Simba FM and Mama FM in Kampala, which have a large listenership in the direct surroundings of the Kawempe national referral hospital where the pilot takes place before rolling out to other regions of Uganda. Through radio broadcasts, pregnant women will be recruited to volunteer and take part in the study where their pregnancy will be closely monitored and data will be collected to support important research to reduce the number of stillbirths worldwide.
This program is part of the Wellcome Leap - In Utero program.
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